Over 90 Islamist fighters killed in Mogadishu clashes

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The pro- government militia group of Ahlu Sunnah Waljama (ASW) in Somalia on Friday claimed they killed at least 91 Islamist fighters and wounded 170 others in Thursday's fierce clashes with rebel forces in Mogadishu.

The group which is allied to the Somali government said it also captured two vehicles loaded with weapons and ammunition supplies from the radical Islamist group of Al Shabaab opposed to the Somali government.

The fierce battles on Thursday left at least 20 civilians dead and almost 60 others injured after allied Somali government forces and the pro-government militias backed by African Union peacekeeping forces launched an early morning offensive on rebel positions in Mogadishu.

Sheikh Abdulah Abu Yusuf Al Qaadi, spokesman for the ASW said four of the dead Islamist fighters were senior commanders including foreigners fighting alongside Al Shabaab forces.

The hardline Islamist group has not so far commented on the ASW' s claims but Al Shabaab commanders have been saying they inflicted "heavy losses" on government and AU forces side.

Spokesman for Al Shabaab Ali Mohamoud Raageh, told local media that the group managed to destroy an AU armored vehicle as well as a bulldozer. The group distributed photos and video they said showed what they said were remains of destroyed AU vehicles and bodies of dead soldiers.

It is not possible to verify the claims of both sides who did not say anything about each side's own losses in the latest conflict.

Separately the two sides have been fighting over control of strategic towns in central Somalia region of Galgadud where fierce battles have been raging for the past week.

Reports from the central Somali town of Beledweyn say that Islamist fighters from Hezbul Islam group regained control of the important town, a trading hub near the Somali-Ethiopian border.

Pro-government forces had partly taken control of the city after fierce clashes with insurgent fighters in Beledweyn, provincial capital of Hiran region, 300 km north of Mogadishu.

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